In this Expert Tutorial, contributor Chris Vandeviver walks through dicing up and creating your own electronic kits by using Flex Time to quickly break up drum loops, exporting the samples back into the Project Browser, and dragging and dropping the samples right into an Empty kit.
In this post, I’ll walk you through the steps involved in creating a basic set of Articulation IDs for the Chris Hein Ensemble String Library. The same principles apply however to any third-party multi articulation based software instrument.
At first glance, Channel EQ looks like a standard surgical “Frequency - gain - width” based multiple band equalizer. While it does do this and does it very well, it is also capable of a lot more. Take a look at some of these tips to brush up on your Channel EQ chops.
In the first part of this series I looked at how to use Drummer’s Feel knob, found on the Details page of Logic’s Drummer Editor, to establish either an ahead of the beat or behind the beat feel for Logic’s Drummer regions. But what if you want to alter the feel of only specific elements within the drum groove? Although this isn’t doable directly from the Drummer editor, fortunately, it is achieved relatively easily using Drummer’s Convert to MIDI function.
The idea of “push” and “pull” with regards to pop based drum grooves refers to playing slightly ahead or behind the beat, in order to impart a slightly different feel to the music. Discover how the Feel knob on the Details page of Logic’s Drummer is used to control this aspect of the groove.
In this free tutorial, Logic Pro Expert contributor Chris Vandeviver demonstrates the many options available for exporting audio out of Logic Pro X.
I had a guitar player over to record recently. We paired up Amp Designer (getting a relatively clean tone, using a slightly tweaked version of the Large Blackface Clean preset) with Eventide’s UltraTap and MangledVerb, and came up with a really interesting and unusual lead guitar tone.
In this article, Eli Krantzberg puts Universal Audio's Pure Plate reverb to work in Logic Pro X.
In this video, sponsored by Universal Audio, I’ve put the UA Manley VoxBox channel strip to work in two very different musical contexts. One is an already tracked rough, raw vocal recorded in a budget home studio. The other a pristine jazz vocal recorded in a state-of-the-art recording facility.
In one of my recent, not infrequent, Skype calls with my Groove3 colleague Doug Zangar, a couple of interesting little-known tips involving the Option key and automation came up. I’d like to share them with you here.
Antares has recently come out with a fantastic upgrade to their flagship pitch correction plug-in, Auto Tune. The new Auto Tune Pro has a completely redesigned interface, making it easier and more intuitive to use than ever.
Logic Pro’s Flex Pitch is a fantastic asset to us all, and it’s free of course. But Auto Tune Pro does things that not only does Flex pitch not do, but no other pitch correction plug-in (that I know of) does!
Logic Pro X lends itself very nicely to the task of processing a mono guitar in stereo. In this video, sponsored by Universal Audio, I’m going to use two different Universal Audio guitar amp plug-ins, the Chandler Limited GAV19T, and the Engel E646VS, to create a nice rich, thick ethereal guitar solo sound.
In this video tutorial, Eli Krantzberg shows you one of the creative ways he likes to use sidechain compression. He'll use Logic Pro X’s Compressor on both a guitar and a bass track, to create a subtle interplay of accents that blend with a drum groove.
Flex Pitch has lots of uses. Although it’s primarily designed for tuning vocals, I often like using it as a quick and dirty scratch pad to experiment with vocal harmony parts. In the songwriting process, it’s often difficult to imagine, or hear in your mind, what certain vocal harmony ideas may sound like. Flex Pitch is a great way to realize these ideas and experiment, with minimum fuss.
In this video, sponsored by Universal Audio, Eli Krantzberg looks at the Precision Delay Mod plug-in on a clav track and a rhythm guitar track.
Precision Delay Mod
The Precision Delay Mod, part of the Precision Mix Rack Collection, is an interesting stereo delay processor with modulation.
What makes it interesting, I think, is the ability to control the amount of delayed signal routed back to its input (feedback) in both positive and negative values.
With positive values, the polarity of the feedback signal is in phase with the original source signal.
With negative values, the polarity of the feedback signal is inverted.
The same applies to the mix knob. The delays can be mixed with the original signal either in phase or out of phase by any amount you want. This allows for some interesting effects.
Modes & LFO
Precision Delay has five modes of operation. In addition to three delay styles (dual delay, Xover delay, and ping pong delay), it also offers chorus and flanger modes.
There are six LFOs to choose from in the modulation section. A sine wave or a triangle wave, starting at different positions in their cycle.
Modulation, as well as the delays, can be synced to tempo. So, the mod section works great for a subtle type of movement, or faster more deliberate oscillation rates for a more noticeable effect.
Hear it in action in this video on a clavinet track first, and then on a rhythm guitar track.
In this video, Eli Krantzberg shows you how to edit the existing violin articulation ID set to work with the Chris Hein Solo Violin instrument.
Chris Hein Solo Strings
The Chris Hein Solo Strings library is the most comprehensive set of string instruments I have ever had the pleasure of playing. Each instrument has 26 pre-programmed articulation switches. So, not only do you get the usual short and long playing styles but lots of nuanced variations of each, as well of course as more esoteric articulations.
The legato transitions between notes are the best I’ve heard to date. The performance parameters are extremely customizable but are already set to sound great straight out of the box. The included convolution reverbs blend so perfectly with the samples that you aren’t even aware of them until you edit some of the parameters.
The vibratos and LFO shapes are all customizable and perfectly laid out to work with string instruments. One thing I really like about this collection of solo instruments is the ability to turn them into Ensembles. By increasing the number of players (up to five), this library contains the makings of fantastic sounding small ensemble sections.
These solo instruments also sound fantastic when paired with Logic Pro X’s new Studio Strings ensembles and sections. The extensive articulation switching available in the Chris Hein instruments is perfectly suited to be paired with Logic’s new Articulation ID system.
In this video, I’ll show you how to edit the existing violin articulation ID set to work with the Chris Hein Solo Violin instrument. Setting up your third-party libraries to work with Logic’s articulation ID switching functions is a great way to get one consistent workflow under your belt that you can use across all sample libraries.
To learn more about the Chris Hein Solo Strings titles, check them out here at Best Service:
In this video, sponsored by Universal Audio, Eli Krantzberg looks at tracking live drums with the SSL 4000 E Channel. As a bonus, he’ll put Logic Pro X 10.4.1’s new ability to calculate the tempo of multi-tracked audio to work!
Being able to record audio with FX is both a blessing and a curse. The bad part is that it forces you to commit to capturing your source with some processing that will ultimately help the recording.
That’s also the good part!
In our little UAD universe, DSP resources are scarce. So anything you can commit to while you are tracking frees up that many resources for mixing later. But DSP aside, I also believe committing early on is efficient workflow.
I’m not suggesting painting yourself into a corner by committing to every little nuance that will be used in the mix. But as recording engineers, we learn through experience some general moves that we pretty much know will be necessary and useful as a starting point when it comes time to mix.
I’ve tracked my same drum set in this same room with the same mics, probably a hundred times. I know the sound of my kit in my room with my mics. And I know that regardless of genre, the different kit pieces will almost always benefit from certain general boosts/cuts at specific frequencies.
So why not commit to them at the beginning, get them out of the way, and then not have to think about them anymore? It frees me up creatively to zero in on more specific tweaks when it comes time for the actual mix.
SSL 4000 E Channel Strip
I’ve tried tracking my drums with several of the UAD Unison plug-ins; and for my setup and aesthetic sensibilities, I really like the sound of Universal Audio’s SSL 4000 E EQ's. I’ve got a Console preset saved that calls up an SSL 4000 E Channel Strip on each of the five channel strips I generally use when I record drums.
In this video, I’ll take you through the settings I like, and then track some live playing twice, for comparison sake. First with the Apollo’s built-in preamps, and then with the SSL 4000 E Channel Strip on each Console channel strip being used.
And as a bonus, we’ll put Logic Pro X 10.4.1’s new ability to calculate the tempo of multi-tracked audio to work!
Logic Pro was long overdue for an updated algorithmic reverb, and ChromaVerb, introduced in Logic Pro X 10.4, is everything and more I had hoped for. In addition to sounding fantastic, it’s got several unique features that, I think, make it really stand out.
Tempo Sync’d Predelay
Predelay, as we all know, places a delay between the original sound and the onset of the reverb’s early reflections and reverb tail. A longer predelay will move the reverb tail out of the way of the dry signal for more clarity. We usually adjust it by ear. Too much, and the reverb sounds too distant and artificial. Too close, and the original signal might not stand out sufficiently form the reverb tail. Being able to tempo sync it to a rhythmic value based on musical subdivisions adds a rhythmic element that can be very interesting.
Freeze is an interesting function. When enabled, it allows you to recirculate the current signal indefinitely. It holds, or “freezes” the reverb in place at the time the function is invoked until it is suspended. Coupled with some judicious use of automation, it can create some interesting sustained reverb effects.
Although it looks like an EQ, it’s not really. The horizontal axis is used to create a position in the frequency spectrum, like a regular EQ. But the vertical axis is used to scale the decay value at that specific position by percentage. On the right-hand vertical axis, we see the decay value indicated in seconds. As we change the central decay knob, the scale on the right changes. Put simply; the Damping EQ allows us to tailor the decay time at specific points in the frequency spectrum.
Here is an example of some drum reverb with a flat damping EQ:
And now here is that same reverb with a dramatic damping EQ cut in the mid range:
The Mono Maker slider allows us to select a frequency point below which the signal is summed to mono. The range above the slider position remains in stereo. This is the greatest function I never knew I needed! Seriously though, it is great not only for interesting sound design but also for confining the low end of a subtly used reverb to mono. This is great, for example, if you are using a subtle drum room reverb and want to keep the low end tight and focused.
Here is a drum loop with normal stereo reverb applied
And now here is that same reverb, with Mono Maker set to keep everything below 650 Hz in mono.
A nice design touch is the ability to step through different room types in the popover window that appears when you click on the currently loaded room type name. These change the specific room algorithm used while preserving any settings you have tweaked on the bottom of the plug-in interface. It’s the same idea used in Logic’s Compressor. Set your basic parameters, and then audition different compressor algorithms by changing the type while everything else is preserved. With Chromaverb room types become progressively more lively and colorful, with the latter options exhibiting interesting and unusual reflection and bloom patterns.
Here is a drum loop going through the “Chamber” room type:
And here is the same reverb with the same parameter values, using the “Strange Room” room type:
ChromaVerb is fun and intuitive to use, either for conventional reverbs, or more esoteric effects.
Take some time to explore it!
In this free video, brought to you with the support of Universal Audio, Eli Krantzberg shows you how to combine Apollo hardware’s direct monitoring with Logic Pro’s software monitoring. Doing this allows for a simplified audio punch-in recording workflow with a consistent headphone mix.
Logic Pro X’s Software Monitoring & Apollo's Direct Monitoring
The great thing about working with Universal Audio's Apollo hardware is the near-zero latency direct monitoring. The Console app also allows us to set up sends in order to monitor with effects, without printing them. This is great for example when recording vocalists who want to hear reverb in their headphones, while the track is recorded dry.
A problem arises when you want to punch in. The audio played back from Logic during the pre-roll will be dry. Here I’ll look at a workflow that involves enabling Logic’s software monitoring while also monitoring directly from the Apollo.
By enabling Logic’s “Independent monitoring level for record-enabled channel strips” preference, the output level of the record enabled channel strip can be pulled down completely while retaining a separate level when in playback mode. Working this way allows for the possibility of using pre-fader sends within Logic Pro X to monitor through software reverb.
Watch the video to learn more about this workflow.